Italy: Country set to extend state of emergency as it remains on quarantine watchlist

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Yesterday, a senior official said that the Italian government is hoping to avoid the surge of coronavirus infections hitting most countries across Europe. Italy’s current state of emergency is set to expire in mid-October and allows regional and central government to have greater powers. Health Undersecretary Sandra Zampa told state broadcaster RAI: “I believe the government will need to ask for a further extension.”

She added: “The state of emergency allows the government to cut through red tape quickly if needed.”

Earlier this year, Italy had one of the worst coronavirus infection rates in Europe.

But since then, Italy has managed to get its case rate under control by implementing a strict lockdown.

The country was a popular holiday spot over the summer with Britons after managing to remain on the UK’s travel corridor list.

In recent weeks, Italy’s cases have begun creeping back up in a worrying trend which could see its state of emergency extended.

The initial state of emergency was extended at the end of July.

However, Italy’s infection rate is still far lower than other countries in Europe.

The country has recorded 313,011 cases and 35,875 deaths at the time of writing.

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While still high, this is far below Spain and France who have recorded 758,172 and 550,690 respectively.

One of the leading criteria for how countries are coping with COVID-19 is their infection rate per 100,000 people over a seven-day period.

The UK has a travel corridor list in place for countries Britons can travel to without having to quarantine on their return to Britain.

Countries at risk of being removed from the travel corridor list are those with a weekly infection rate that is higher than 20 per 100,000 people.

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Earlier this week, Italy was on the watchlist as its infection rate continued to slowly rise.

Yesterday, Italy’s infection rate was 19.6 per 100,000 cases over a seven-day period.

While it is below the UK’s threshold this week, if cases continue to rise, it could be removed from the travel corridor list in the next few weeks.

CEO of travel consultancy The PC Agency Paul Charles said earlier this week: “I’m closely watching #Sweden #Poland #Greece #Italy this week for possible quarantine.”

Italy is also exempt from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice against all non-essential international travel.

Those wishing to visit Italy have to download and complete a self-declaration from the Ministry of Interior before they travel to Italy.

Masks must be worn on board public services, enclosed public spaces and in all outdoor spaces between the hours of 6pm and 6am.

Sardinia and Campania are asking people to wear masks in all outdoor spaces 24 hours a day.

Regional authorities in Italy may adjust these measures with their own local requirements so its worth checking before you travel.

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